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Master of Science in Education

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Many aspiring teachers opt to pursue advanced teaching degrees. A Master of Science in Education focuses mainly on support and leadership and can be an excellent way to establish one's self as a highly qualified expert and potentially earn more money.

Master of Science in Education Programs

The Master of Science degree prepares those who want to be school administrators for the inevitable challenges they will face. Upon completion of a Master of Science in Education program, students are prepared to advance their careers. The degree concentration includes:

  • Educational Studies
  • Educational Technology and Digital Age Learning
  • Gifted Education
  • Reading
  • School Administration and Supervision

The Master of Science in Education is earned after completion of a graduate-level science-based master’s program. The program typically includes research courses and lectures with a required thesis. Each concentration aligns with national and regional standards. They emphasize the role of educators to be agents of change, school improvements, diversity in learning, career-long professional development, and performance assessment. Schools collaborate with outside organizations to bring specialized curricula to students. In Master of Science in Education programs, students study concepts in educational policy, school economics, personnel administration, and education reform.

They learn to create more efficient learning environments. Specializations such as gifted program education, special education, leadership in education, school reading instruction, curriculum design, and mathematics education are available. Whether looking to augment current teaching skills, redirect a career or specialize in an area, a Master of Science in Education degree provides the theoretical training and practical experience needed to become a better educator.

Requirements for a Master of Science in Education Degree

One to three years of study is typically required to earn this advanced degree for administrators and teachers, depending on full- or part-time attendance. The prerequisites vary based on the school and program. A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. A minimum GPA may also be a requirement. Some programs require previous professional experience. Standard applications requirements include:

  • Letters of recommendations
  • College transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities.
  • Personal essay, often about career of educational goals
  • Standardized tests, such as the GRE

The GRE assesses the student’s readiness for graduate-level work. Many schools require candidates for a Master of Science in Education to complete a research paper or thesis before graduation. The degree requires general education, required core, and elective courses that are upper-division and graduate level. An admission interview that is conducted online or in-person is one of the general admission requirements for the University of the Potomac.

Other schools may also require an interview. An application must be submitted to the Office of Records and Registration. The courses taken toward a Master of Science in Education must be upper-level courses. Any grade of X, N, or I from a transcript has to be removed by completing those courses. Successful completion of courses must be done by the end of the quarter a pseron expects to receive the degree, to keep one’s name on the graduation list.

Examples of Coursework for a Master of Science in Education Degree

The topics covered in a Master of Science in Education degree are typically designed for current teachers wanting to move into another branch of education or a leadership role. The area of specialization dictates the course requirements. Idaho State University requires 31 credits for those seeking a Master of Education in Administration. They include:

  • Nine credits in core professional study courses
  • 18 credits in Educational Administration
  • Three internship credits
  • One case study credit

The University of the Potomac lists the required courses for a Master of Science in Education as follows:

  • Four general education requirements
  • 24 credits in core courses that include:
    • Social Contexts in Education
    • Child and Adolescent Development
    • Research and Analysis in Teaching and Learning
    • Educating Exceptional Children
    • Theory and Practice of Teaching
    • Problems in the Philosophy of Education
    • Teaching with Technology
    • Assessment and Evaluation
  • 18 credits of coursed form the upper division

Other schools likely have similar requirements. Various tools and methods for collaboration promote co-planning of differentiated instruction and curriculum, problem-solving, and effective team relationships. Projects and activities are problem-based and focus on the generation of solutions to school-wide, student-specific, or programmatic issues.

Candidates with a Master’s degree in education-related fields might complete just the State requirements for a principal endorsement if the Master’s degree held included the core study courses. In that case, 22 credits are required for the endorsement. Similar requirements are needed for other specialized degrees such as Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Education, Reading and Literacy, and Special Education. The 18 credits in education will be courses with an emphasis on the specialization endorsement that is being sought.

Benefits of a Master of Science in Education Degree Over a Bachelor’s Degree

A Master of Science in Education benefits include:

  • Improved teaching skills
  • Earn more money
  • Enjoy increased job stability
  • Administration jobs are available

The interaction between participants are usually from all over the country, which gives students a wider networking pool than a traditional campus setting. There is also intangible value. The degree affords a greater professional and personal credibility. Graduates may experience greater credibility among peers. The degree may grant greater promotability and staying power within an organization. Students learn how to convey their expertise more effectively. Prospective employers consider those who hold the degree to be experts in the field of education, which means the person is more appealing to them.

In June of 2009, the New York Times published an article that equated a Bachelor’s degree to a diploma in the 21st century. As more people graduate and flood the job market, a Masters of Science in Education stands out in a stack of resumes. Higher education is not a guarantee of more income, but the U. S. Bureau of Labor statistics note the typical person holding a Master’s degree earned $1300 each week in 2012. That figure was 22 percent more than Bachelor’s degree holders. That is a dramatic increase over a lifetime.

Teaching is among the most stable jobs in the growing U.S. industry. The Labor Department predicts a 15 percent increase in post-secondary teaching positions by 2022. The degree opens the door to other career options. Supplemental income opportunities, such as writing, teaching, and speaking, may be available. Those with a Master of Science in Education can teach university or college classes. The degree leads directly to an administrative position.

What Is It Like to Get the Degree Online?

An online Master of Arts in Teaching program blends hands-on, field-based teaching experiences with theory. The process begins by requesting information from universities that offer a Master of Science in Education degrees online. All universities that offer an online program have a ‘Request for Information’ on their website. Most online universities assign applicants an Enrollment Counselor who guides them through the enrollment process, filling out forms, and paying tuition.

The Enrollment Counselor helps transfer credits from work experience or previous college courses that might apply to the degree. There are also Financial Aid Counselors who help find loans, grants, and scholarships for tuition. The university assigns students an Academic Advisor who works with the student to develop a plan for completion of the degree. In a state where a Master’s degree is not a requirement for beginning teachers, students holding a Bachelor’s degree can continue teaching as they earn a Master’s degree in Education online from an accredited institution. It is an excellent option to work full-time or if commuting to class is problematic. Taking online classes gives the student flexibility in continuing education within a busy schedule.

The online degrees are primarily designed for working teachers. They focus on advanced teaching methodology and leadership. A teaching license may be required to enroll. Online Master of Education programs take about two years to complete. These programs have relatively consistent technology requirements that include a reliable internet connection and a recent model computer. Education topics that are most common include:

  • Leadership in education
  • Teaching diversified students
  • Curriculum development

Web-based programs usually follow a rigorous curriculum similar to brick-and-mortar options that lead to the same advancement opportunities. The online degree program offers convenience and flexibility. Courses can be taken where a students wants to do so and according to his or her schedule.

Examples of Online Master of Science in Education Programs

Northwest Missouri State University offers an NCATE accredited program in Master of Science in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, and Reading. The same faculty that teaches on-campus teach the courses. The tuition is affordable, and the accelerated courses take seven weeks. The program can be completed in as soon as one year.

Drake Universityhas a convenient and flexible online Master of Science in Education program. The university is on the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools approved list. It is a member of the association and also accreditied by the Higher Learning Commission. Courses emphasize pedagogy and comtemporary methods with course for those pursuing careers as

  • Curriculum Developer
  • Literacy Coach
  • Master Teacher
  • Reading Specialist
  • Teacher Leader

Drake provides financial assistance for attaining the next level of education. Six-week terms easily fit into busy schedules.

The University of Iowa is a Big Ten university that offers a 100 percent online graduate degree that can be completed in 24 months, without putting a career on hold or leaving home. The Fiske Guide to Colleges has designated the program as the ‘Best Buy’ for ten years straight. Students get an affordable, top-tier education.

Another 100 percent online Master of Science in Education is offered by Concordia University The school has been among the most respected education communities since 1905. Their most popular programs are:

  • Trauma & Resilience in Educational Settings
  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics
  • Educational Leadership
  • Early Childhood Education

It is a one-year degree program.